In two years flat, Ray Anderson, the CEO of the Interface corporation (a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet tiles for commercial structures such as convention centers, airports, hotels, and shopping malls) has transformed his company into a world leader in sustainable industry. He credits the motivation for this transformation to two books, The Ecology Of Commerce and Ishmael.

Not many of us can impact the world as heavily and dramatically as Ray Anderson, but we can all undertake the very same process, which was to say, “What can I do to change the world within the sphere of my influence?”

Ray Anderson didn’t close down his business, didn’t run off to the woods to live on nuts and berries, didn’t quit his job to go knocking on doors for Greenpeace. He did WHAT he could WHERE he was, using his very best resource, which was his industry leadership.

You can do the same: Do what you can WHERE YOU ARE, using your very best resource. At the very least, you can take Ishmael at his word. Nothing less than a world of changed minds is going to save us—and changing minds is something every single one of us can do, no matter who we are or how we’re situated.

Don’t worry if you can’t reach a hundred (which is the number Ishmael mentioned). If you can’t reach a hundred, reach ten. And if you can’t reach ten, reach one—because that one may reach a million!

NOTE: Since this is, by far, THE MOST Frequently Asked Question of Mr. Quinn and others that have become the message, we have created an entire section of this website dedicated to this. (See INSPIRED.)

ID: 65
Posted: 08 Feb 1997
Update: 02 Apr 2002